Day at the Spa

January 30, 2011

Today I put good use to my Gene Juarez gift certificate.  Rather than either losing it or waiting a year before booking an appointment, I took the afternoon off and visited the Bellevue salon.

I’m not one to hit the spas on a regular basis (though I wouldn’t complain if I could), and any time I go, I usually book a facial or a massage.  This time I decided to try something new, that being in the form of algae.  Specifically, the Algae Body Masque.  This is a process of exfoliation, detoxification and relaxation through “deep-sea therapy.”  The spa therapist first exfoliates my skin with some sort of scrub (I unfortunately forget to ask what it is, as I am too preoccupied with regretting to have not used the bathroom beforehand.  I had lounged in the waiting room for a while, sipping lots of tea while reading 1001 Ways to Be in the Moment, and before I knew it, it was my turn).  The therapist then covers me in a mineral-rich algae wrap, first painting on the warm, fishy potion and then wrapping me up in plastic.  Meanwhile she talks about puppet shows and how they frightened her as a child.  I don’t respond with much, as I want to subtly hint that I’m not one of those clients who like to chat while receiving a spa service.  Didn’t Jerry Seinfeld mention that in one of his shows?  About the massage therapist who wouldn’t shut up?  Anyway.  So I’m laying on a table with this Vichy Shower above me.  This aquatic therapy was first used in the French city, Vichy. It acts like a thermal massage, hydrating the skin while stimulating blood circulation.  I had never seen one before, and honestly, the whole place reminded me of an autopsy room.  The walls and floor are covered with white tiles and there’s a large drain in the center of the floor.  The single “bed” looks like a gurney, and after she wraps me in the body bag/wrap, she uses a control to raise the bed towards the ceiling, so I’m directly under the five shiny metal heads that are the Vichy Shower.  She’s draped a white towel over the length of my body (now all I need is a toe tag) and has placed a plastic covering over my face so the water doesn’t spray me, but she’s put a towel over the top of that, so I can’t see anything and am quite shocked when the shower jets suddenly start pummeling me at every angle.  Four minutes face up, four minutes face down, lower the table, smooth seaweed-rich lotion all over, and I’m set to go.  All in all, it was a good experience.  I felt relaxed and my skin was supple.  I used the fancy hairspray and mouthwash in the women’s lounge.  Best of all, it was covered with a $100 gift certificate.  I’d recommend the service to a friend.  Just don’t go near the wall of stainless steel drawers behind the front desk 🙂

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